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INTERVIEW: Staying unbeaten is massive

6 September 2016

Team captain Danny Grainger on the good start to the season

The Cumbrians have shown themselves to be an extremely difficult team to beat already this season and the point they earned against Accrington was the least they deserved as they again created good chances, particularly in the first half.

Team captain Danny Grainger spoke to us about the feeling in the camp after what has been a very encouraging start to the campaign.

“We’re still unbeaten but we’re disappointed that we didn’t win the game,” he said. “I think we did enough to have won it but we knew they were going to be a tough team to play against. It leaves you with mixed emotions but even though we haven’t won the game, we haven’t lost it either.

“We conceded to a sucker punch but the reaction from the lads was fantastic. We won’t lie down and roll over and we always know we’ll get chances. We could even have nicked it at the end when the keeper made an unbelievable double save from Reggie Lambe.

“It can be hard in the dressing room after a game like that because there is disappointment in there. We all feel we should have won but we have to take the positives from it. We know we were the better team and there’ll be games this year where we play a lot worse but we’ll get three points out of it.”

“It’s a team that doesn’t like to lose but you have to understand that you’re never going to be given points,” he explained. “Accrington won’t let you play nice football so you do have to go a bit more direct at times. The higher the tempo for us the better it is, so John Coleman will have done his homework on that. They took their time over everything and I’m sure other teams will try that against us as well.

“It’s only a matter of time until we batter someone. We’d be more worried if we weren’t creating chances. Some teams will come here and sit off the ball and they’ll try to set traps and press us. Others will press us straight from the off and it’s a massive compliment that we’re now seen as a tough side to deal with. It’ll be up to us to do what’s needed to combat all of that.”

“Staying unbeaten is massive,” he agreed. “It keeps the confidence there and it makes other teams look and realise that we won’t be easy to play against. The longer it goes on the more people will take notice.

“The lads are flying and the team is full of confidence. We’re limiting the opposition to one or two chances per game and that’s another positive. That’s a team effort, because the work starts at the front, but the disappointing thing is that other teams seem to nick one at the moment even though they are restricted by us. 

“That’s something we’ll be working on because we want the wins to start coming. Having said that, you have to enjoy your football when you’re on a run like this. We probably should be a good few places above where we are now but we’ve set our stall out and I think we’ll only get better.”

When quizzing goal scorer Nicky Adams about the celebration which followed the equaliser at the weekend it emerged that it was all down to the team captain and his rather dubious choice of pre-match song.

“It’s one of these things where we have a tune in the dressing room which gets played before the game,” he said. “I found the dance that goes with it this morning [Saturday] and I said to the lads that if anyone scored they had to give it a bash. 

“I think there was only Raynesy who wasn’t really willing to do it – even Jabo was happy to give it a go – and it’s things like that which show how good the team spirit is. It bodes well. It’s an absolutely terrible song but it gets the boys going, and that’s all that matters.”

On his shot which smashed into the woodwork early in the first half, he said: “It’s one of those things and it’s disappointing that it didn’t go in. We work on things on the training ground and that’s a routine we looked at. 

“It’s the second time it’s happened and if only the crossbar was another couple of inches higher I’d maybe get on the score sheet! It would be nice to get one but it doesn’t matter who scores. As long as we keep this run going we’ll all be happy.”

And on whether or not the squad will be mounting the promotion push spoken about so openly over the last few months, he told us: “If you look at the squad this year you see the manager and the backroom staff have recruited really well. 

“We’ve kicked on again from last year and the signs are all there that it’s going to be a good season. I can’t see why we won’t be involved when we have a group like this.”

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